21 October 2018   |  Last Updated 15-01-2015 01:01

      Tuesday 18, March 2014

      Minimum wage anniversary marked with ambitious future

      INCREASE: The national minimum wage is steadily increasing.


      A THREE per cent increase on the national minimum wage has signalled an ‘ambitious future’ for Britain, says a Salford Conservative councillor, as the policy reaches its 15-year anniversary.

      The new adult rate, recently announced by Business Secretary Vince Cable, will see an increase of 19p (£6.50 per hour) by October, contrary to the ambitious living wage target previously set by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.

      INFOGRAPHIC: Line graph highlighting the steady increase of the NMW (created using infogr.am).


      However Christopher Clarkson, Tory Councillor for Worsley, has supported Chancellor Osborne’s view and said the recent rise – which sees the NMW rise above inflation for the first time in six years – was a part ‘of our long-term economic strategy’.


      “It makes sense that, eventually, the living wage and the minimum wage become the same thing,” Cllr Clarkson said.


      “I don’t disagree with that ambition because it’s a good target to be heading towards.


      “We’re asking people to go to work and we’re saying that work should always pay more than benefits.


      “But, for that to apply, we need to make sure that the amount of money someone would expect, from doing a day’s work, is an attractive amount because it’s currently too easy to sit on benefits.”



      The Conservatives initially opposed the NMW when it was first introduced under Tony Blair’s Labour government in 1999, but they have since reversed their views as they now look to extensively increase the hourly rate.


      Pat McDonagh, Manchester’s Unison Branch Secretary, supported this vision and said it was a ‘step forwards’ for low paid workers, but labelled this as being ‘politically ironic’.

      “The Tories, who were against it in the past, now advocate the minimum wage as if it was their own idea,” Mr McDonagh said.


      “This is one of many low-cost bribes that will be handed out before the election, which will give the Government the right to say that they aren't the uncaring party that everyone knows they are.”

      Take a look below at the history behind the minimum wage.


      TIMELINE: The 15-year history of the NMW (Created using Timeline JS).

      By Liam McCallion
      (Twitter: @LiamMcCallion23)

      Published by Liam McCallion on 15-01-2015 01:01